Being a teacher is more than just making sure your students can pass their tests, it is also about helping them to work hard and achieve their goals. By treating them not just as students who need to learn specific items and subject matter in order to move on to the next grade, but as young people who are complex and, with the right amount of encouragement and push, can really make the step from being an adolescent to a young adult who is ready for college and a career upon graduation from high school.

(Photo Courtesy of Elaine Nosser)

(Photo Courtesy of Elaine Nosser)

Many teachers in the Houston area have mastered the art of knowing when to be a teacher, when to be a disciplinarian and when to be a mentor or sounding board for their students, which really helps these young learners to flourish. Elaine Nosser talks about her job as an English teacher at Pope John XXIII High School in the Katy area and working with its students through the National Honor Society and the school’s House System.

What does your current job entail?

“I teach American Literature at the high school level, along with other responsibilities, e.g. National Honor Society sponsor, Aquinas Assistant House Master. The House System has allowed me to mentor many of our students in ways a traditional classroom setting does not allow.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“There were definitely some aspects of my degree plan that help me with my job today. However, as a teacher, one learns very quickly that a first-year instructor must learn a lot through trial and error.”

Have you pursued any continuing education past your bachelor’s degree?

“Aside from our required professional development, I have not pursued any other form of higher education to this date. The professional development aspect of teaching is very helpful for educators to stay on top of.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“My advice to prospective teachers is, first and foremost, be confident and assertive. Especially with high school age students, this is incredibly important.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at


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